The Chances for A Healthier Lifestyle Diminish as San Bernardino Grows More Bankrupt

BELEN CHACON
EL NUEVO SOL—SALUD

Photo Credit: Good Faith Mediations

Photo Credit: Good Faith Mediations

When it comes to talking about San Bernardino’s distressing food and health situation, it’s almost impossible not to talk about the economics of the region. Several cuts have been made by the city council to preserve the city due to its recent bankruptcy.

Twenty-seven-year-old James Peddy was born and raised in San Bernardino. He feels as if the healthy dining options in the region are limited.

“I’d say the vast majority of restaurants or eateries that you see are going to be your chains, fast-food…even on Hospitality Lane, those are all your TGI Friday’s, your Chili’s, Black Angus, Olive Garden, all those,” said Peddy.

But it’s not just the public dining that needs improvement. San Bernardino doesn’t seem to be encouraging local residents to lead a healthier lifestyle.

“I never see any signage promoting healthy eating. At least when I graduated from high school the eating options in were horrific…certainly in terms of taste, but definitely in terms of healthy aspects. There were some options, but it just wasn’t enough,” added Peddy.

Chambra Spargo, a mother of three and a San Bernardino native, feels that the overall morale of the community is suffering due to its problems.

“The economy isn’t so good here. If you’re looking for a job a lot of the times you have to go outside of San Bernardino County. For instance, I work in Pomona because there are not really any jobs out here. So I know that affects a lot of people,” said Spargo. “I just feel like morale in the city is really low. People don’t take a lot of pride in this community, and I just feel like it really brings it down.”

In a recent case study by the Voice of California, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County was 14.9 percent in 2010 and is now 15 percent as of September 2012, according to the Google Public Explorer website.

Spargo shops at Stater Bros. for her groceries, but sometimes prefers shopping at Fresh and Easy. Although it is in a less convenient location and the groceries are generally more expensive, Spargo is satisfied with the variety and the overall quality of the food.

“Food 4 Less by the way, I never ever go in. I think that the quality of their produce is horrible. When you go to pick out all the produce, there are a lot of fruit flies and stuff on it and it just looks sticky and dirty. I tried to buy mangos there one time and they were really mushy and when I took them home to cut them open, they were actually brown,” said Spargo.

After the Thanksgiving holiday last year, the San Bernardino City Council presented their final pendency plan where they voted

Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

San Bernardino City Hall
Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

to cut $26 million in spending in an effort to keep the bankrupt city from being governed by the county.

Some of these cuts include the slashing of the police force. About 80 police officers will be cut, which will more than likely result in a higher increase in violent crime.

“I feel safe, where I’m at now in this area, but in the past areas of San Bernardino, I definitely did not feel safe. My car got broken into twice, there were fights that would break out in our neighborhood, you would see people selling drugs, dealing drugs, on drugs…I felt really unsafe,” expressed Spargo.

It goes without saying that San Bernardino’s issues with crime and lack of healthy communities are directly correlated with the region’s unfortunate economic situation. Until San Bernardino’s economic standing improves, the future of the communities in the region won’t be a positive one.

Acerca de belenchacon

Belen is a recent journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge. She's covered a myriad of topics including: women in underserved communities, health, education equality, consumer issues, politics, career and job search. Belen is currently looking for any freelance or permanent writing opportunities. Follow her @journobelen.

Publicado el febrero 25, 2013 en Audio, Entrevistas, Justicia alimentaria /Food justice, Multimedia, Salud / Health, Salud y educación, Salud y política y etiquetado en , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. Deja un comentario.

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